Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tales from Generation X

I don’t know how others refer to them, but I call them zombies. As I stood on the ground floor of the decrepit high-rise, I could feel them outside- crawling out of garbage cans and dumpsters, preparing for their onslaught. I removed my red cloak in preparation for what was to come, and entered the elevator. I had to get to the roof.

I slammed the ancient elevator gate shut at the same time as the shambling horde outside threw themselves against the building’s outer wall. I was not worried; the elevator was, in spite of its age, the only normal and dependable thing in this structure.

The elevator rose, and as I passed the first floor I was treated to the sight of two orange-clad warriors practicing their formalized fighting style. I doubted it would be much use against zombies, but that was their problem. Behind them, a tie-wearing man seized a sledgehammer and took a practice swing. That was more like it.

The elevator rose further. On the next floor, I caught glimpse of a silhouette in a doorway, cast by an undulating woman chained by the neck and bound at the wrists. A man with irritatingly wide sideburns made halfhearted strokes in a sketchbook. Both were oblivious to my passing presence, and soon out of sight.

It is not the nature of my kind to show fear, but I caressed my tattoo to brace myself from that visage and for what was to come. The calm gaze of the buxom Amazonian inked on my upper arm gives me strength and courage in times of stress. I heard more zombies hitting the wall outside, and from the sounds I could tell some were starting to scale the wall, trying to reach the roof.

Another floor. More of the madness that pervaded that unholy place. A skeletal corpse talked and joked with a hairless effigy of a fat man, as I glided steadily (if not silently) upwards. As long as they both stayed happy (and seated), it was not something I would have to deal with.

I finally reached the rooftop, and sprung into action. Leaping onto a central platform, I could tell from the sounds that the zombies had scrabbled almost to the top. They would be upon me soon. I waved my arms (perhaps a bit too wildly), and flexed my muscles in preparation for what I would have to do.

The first zombie head popped up, as its owner fought its way over the low wall at the roof’s edge. Then more heads, and more bodies, as they made their assault. Timing was critical, so I held my ground as they approached. I made random looking violent gestures- not with any hope of scaring them off, but to keep from being charged by any overeager individuals. The zombies grew closer, and then paused only a few meters from me. As they quivered and lolled their heads in time to some occult rhythm, I sprung the trap. I leapt away from their flailing limbs and stood between the high voltage electrical coils installed behind the platform. Steeling myself with another pump of my half-gloved fist, I reached out with both hands and grasped a sizzling terminal in each. The mighty electrical generators in the building pulsed, and my body stiffened as the power surged through me.

The result was devastating. Blasts of heat and light and pure power roiled forth from me, flinging the zombies by twos and threes backwards off the rooftop, to plummet to the street below. I continued to grasp the terminals, confident in my victory. Far below me, zombies lay in an unmoving heap at the foot of the building.

But as I released the terminals and jumped forward to straddle the platform, I sensed the creatures stirring once more. I twitched in fury, knowing that I had failed. In short time, the tattered figures were clambering up the wall again. With no further options, I jumped around and flailed my fists in impotent rage. Unbeckoned memories from my recent ascent assaulted my mind: The feeling of my white skin under my tattoo, the fleeting views of the bizarre denizens of this structure. The zombies came over the wall a second time, showing no signs of injury from either the electrical carnage or the lengthy fall. In my anger, I batted a hanging lighting fixture out of my sight. But I had no way to avoid this final encounter.

I danced the dance of my people as the zombies surrounded me entirely. They jumped and jerked in a gross caricature of my motions. Sweat flew from my body. Sweat. Sweat sweat sweat sweat. I knew that it was the end. But at least I was not Dancing with Myself.

Copyrighted 2010
Unauthorized reproduction prohibited, unless you seriously swashbuckle


Karl said...

For reference:

Robin said...

I'm feeling very queasy.